Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Ever have a good/great/fantastic idea and you share it with someone and then that someone pees on it? I had that experience recently, and it left me feeling like how your dog feels and looks when you change the food in his bowl and he does that "baroo?" look at you and waits for you to say "just kidding!" and give him his real food. Except that I'm still hungry and even dare I say annoyed.
I had the chance recently to talk to someone high up in the Colorado architectural community about some intern stuff that I was doing and wanted to expand on, and instead of being an interesting, invigorating dialogue, I felt like I got talked down to--or talked at--and got pushed back into the machine instead of being encouraged to step away from the machine and do something good and great and fantastic. Now, it's entirely possible that I really am a bit of a loose cannon at best and a lunatic with a high-powered rifle in a bell tower at worst, but when this person and I parted company, I felt..."mneh." I felt like I got signed onto a committee, not encouraged and enlightened. It was as if the person was giving me lots of caveats about what I wanted to do and acheive (do I look that clueless?) and was trying to get me to merge back with the mainstream of my career and field and business-as-usual (though, I should say it was an enlightened mainstream, I guess). Perhaps I was expecting too much from the conversation?
Except that it wasn't a conversation. I felt like I was having to push my point of view/ideas into the discussion, to nearly interrupt him to share my ideas and goals. It felt draining, and not draining the way a good cry or scream or the aftermath of watching a powerful movie or play or attending an intense concert is draining. It was like sitting through a discussion of the changes to the 2009 International Building Code and how they will affect travel distances in I-2 occupancies. Okay, actually I'd find that really interesting, but the rest of you would gnaw off a leg to get away. I felt uninspired and even sorta doubting the awesomeness I'd come up with.
After processing this some and emailing and calling some of my best mentors, I'm thinking that this is a case of comic Patton Oswalt's take on "Death Bed: The Bed That Eats People". There way be some good ideas to take away from talking with this well-meaning person, but ultimately my ideas for what I want to do are what I need to do. Part of executing any good idea is looking that idea in the face from time to time, checking it, rechecking it, and then seeing it through. Maybe you change the idea a little bit, but the core of the original idea has to be there, because that's what got you excited about this idea in the first place.